Report: Google’s Tracking Change Draws DOJ Antitrust Scrutiny

Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies remotely during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on antitrust on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Washington. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)
Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP

According to a recent report, Google’s plan to block the web activity trackers called “cookies” has become a major source of concern for DOJ investigators who have been asking ad industry executives whether the move will impact smaller Google rivals.

Reuters reports that Google’s plan to block the web tracking tool called “cookies” has become a major source of concern for DOJ investigators who have been speaking with advertising industry executives, asking whether the move by the search giant will have a negative impact on its smaller rivals.

A year ago, Google announced that it would ban some cookies in its Chrome browser claiming the move would improve user privacy. Over the last two months, Google has released more details leading many online ad rivals to complain about losing the data-gathering tool.

Justice Department investigators have reportedly been looking into how Chrome policies affect the ad and news industries, according to four sources. Investigators have reportedly begun asking whether Google is using the Chrome browser to reduce competition by preventing rival ad firms from tracking users via cookies while leaving loopholes for Google to gather data with cookies, analytics, and other tools.

Executives from more than a dozen companies across a number of sectors have reportedly spoken with DOJ investigators, according to sources. The U.S. government has been investigating Google’s search and advertising business since mid-2019 and last October it sued Google for allegedly using anticompetitive tactics to maintain the dominance of the Google Search engine

Google defended its ad business, stating that it was helping companies grow and protecting users’ privacy from exploitative practices, stating: “The enormous competition in ad tools has made online ads more affordable, reduced fees, and expanded options for publishers and advertisers.”

Read more at Reuters here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.